19 February 2015, Press Release
UK funders have come together to launch the £5.3m Early Action Neighbourhood Fund. The Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, working together on the pilot Early Action Neighbourhood Fund (EANF), have announced up to £5.3m of funding for three early action projects in Coventry, Norwich and Hartlepool.
Early action prevents problems from occurring, rather than dealing with the consequences of those problems: building fences at the top of a cliff rather than providing ambulances at the bottom.
The EANF aims to reduce future demand for public services (eg children’s services, mental health budgets and housing support) by providing innovative models of intensive preventative support right now.
Coventry Law Centre and Grapevine have formed a partnership to develop a project called Ignite that uniquely combines legal advice with strengths-building and connecting people with others for support - to build resilience and tackle problems at their root cause.
Working in partnership with agencies across the public sector, the project will work to change the way public services respond to those who need their help most and aims to show how tapping into the strengths and energies within local communities and investing in tackling problems early on can save money later.
Professor Harinder Bahra, Emeritus Professor of Management and Diversity and Chair of Coventry Law Centre commented: "Our patron, trustees and staff are delighted to receive this funding and we acknowledge the hard work, contributions and commitment demonstrated by our partner organisations. The funding will be invaluable as we continue our work to alleviate poverty, fight social injustice and improve social cohesion."
It is clear the austerity measures with marked reductions in public spending will continue to impact on the design, provision and delivery of public services. Left unchecked, these will change the landscape of our inner city areas leading to greater inequality and poverty.
Our approach with Ignite has been to respond to this challenge by exploring new models of partnership working which encourage innovation, organisation agility and knowledge transfer. An important part of this project will be how this learning and good practice can be disseminated to improve services regionally and nationally.